People in Southeast Asia are breathing some of the most polluted air in the world.
Haze originates from fires, usually linked to land clearing for agricultural activities. Its coverage, density, and duration depend on the severity of the fires, environmental safeguards in place in land-use regimes, and seasonal and climatic conditions.
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Sustainable Palm Oil
- Fire cannot be used for land preparation
- Fire prevention requires cooperation among peatland stakeholders
- No new planting on peat since November 2018
- For existing peatland cultivation, drainability assessments must be carried out before replanting
- Management plans need to adhere to peatland best practices.
Sustainable Pulp and Paper Products
- A zero-burning policy;
- Comprehensive fire management, including mapping of fire risks, a fire prevention budget, engaging communities to promote fire-free alternatives to land preparation, daily hotspot monitoring, and strengthening firefighting training and equipment;
- Comprehensive peatland management, including water table management and biodiversity protection.
Dr Michelle Ann Miller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Her research interests include environmental governance, urban change and transboundary relations in Southeast Asia.
Dr Helena Varkkey is an Associate Professor at the Department of International and Strategic Studies, Universiti Malaya and an Associate Member of the Inter-Asia Engagements Cluster at the Asia Research Institute. Her research areas include transboundary haze diplomacy in Southeast Asia and global palm oil politics.
The Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, is one of the world's foremost research centres on Asia. The Institute brings together scholars working across the social sciences and humanities, forming a vital space for Asia-focused cross-disciplinary research collaboration.